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They in turn project this onto their partner, whom they criticize and devalue. When their partner’s luster fades, he or she no longer provides a satisfactory object to boost their self-esteem.
They discard their partner and look elsewhere for a new source of narcissistic supply.
Most codependents s also have low self-esteem and insecure attachment styles and seek relationships to validate their worthiness.
Their unconscious belief is, “If I’m loved, then I must be lovable.” Although some codependents may behave in ways that appear needy and insecure, narcissists hide their neediness and act self-assured, in control, proud, and even cocky―like a male peacock flaunting his feathers.
Both narcissists and codependents are able to adapt to the likes and needs of one another, but for the narcissist, it’s a tactic of seduction; for the accommodating codependent, it’s a way of relating and their personality style.
( compares personality styles of narcissists and codependents.) When codependents experience love-bombing, their low self-esteem is also raised.
They finally feel seen and appreciated, unlike in their childhood.
People with insecure attachment styles feel a basic insecurity stemming from relationships with early caregivers.Despite a façade of confidence and independence, narcissists feel insecure and empty.They require constant reassurance or “narcissistic supply” from those around them, but, like vampires, it’s never enough to fill their emptiness or satisfy their hunger.Any slight or imagined chink in their ideal image of their partner feels painful.As narcissists’ vision of their perfect partner deteriorates, their hidden shame increasingly causes discomfort.
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The lavish attention and affection seems to answer our prayers. The bomber abruptly changes colors and loses interest, and our dream comes crashing down. We’re confused and try to make sense of the nightmare that was once a dream. We search for answers, doubt and blame ourselves, often losing trust in ourselves and the opposite sex.